A week late but here it is. This eye injury is bothering me more than I thought it would (we can discuss later).
Beings that this race was one week after M2B I wasn’t expecting to run as well. I just wanted to go check out the new course and see if this was an event worth running again. If I ran well great, if not no big deal.
I got up around 3:20 a.m. and was able to catch a 4 a.m. train down to San Diego. I thought I would be one of the only peeps at the coaster station that early but to my surprise it was pretty busy. I ended up seeing a friend that I used to work with so we chatted the whole way down to SD. The train ended in Old Town and there was a shuttle waiting to take us to the start. It was seriously so easy.
The starting area was buzzing! From runners to coaches to supporters there were people everywhere. Bathroom lines moved faster than expected, got my bag checked and headed to the start line.
I ended up in corral 5 next to the 2 hour pacer. At that point I had to make a decision to either just chill and go with the crowded flow or expend energy and go out fast to get out of the madness.
I think it took 4 minutes to cross the start and we were off. Dude, it was CROWDED. At that point I went with the decision to just go out fast. For the first mile I just tried to focus on getting through the crowd. I knew the street opened up around 1-1.5 miles so I would get some room to move. I remember passing the 1:45 pacer and knew I should probably put the brakes on a bit. That’s when I met Juan Fernando (John). This dude was freaking fast and there was no slowing down.
He was visiting from Mexico and spoke very little English. He asked if I understood Spanish and I said yes. From that point on he spoke to me in Spanish and I replied in English (or Spanish if I could). It was awesome. As we climbed a few short uphills we talked about races, strides and pacing. Around the 10k mark he told me he was gunning for better than a 1:36. He started in corral 3 so he had time to make up. At that point we were running 7:15-7:20s and I told him my brain was not ready to run better than a 1:36 and off he went.
Around the 15k mark we had another sneaky uphill that I just didn’t have the energy for. I made it up and over but at that point my mental state was just hang on. We hit some really fast downhills that I didn’t take advantage of but it did feel good on the legs.
As we made our way through downtown I heard the winner of the marathon finish. That was awesome. As I passed mile 13 I sprinted toward the finish. My last .10 was at a 5:43 pace (goes to show you I had a lot left physically, just not mentally!).
I crossed the finish line in 1:38:40, 7:32 avg pace (hooray for a positive split, lol).
When I crossed the finish I took a quick picture and silently celebrated my 1 min PR. One week after a marathon PR I pulled a half PR out of my hiney. Awesome. I saw my new friend Juan and he showed me his Garmin: 1:35! He said he couldn’t believe it and I told him I knew he could do it. He ran a strong race!!
I grabbed my goodies and medal and headed to bag check to grab my stuff. I quickly changed my clothes and hopped on the trolley to get back to the train station.
The finish line was super organized and easy to navigate. I had no problem grabbing my stuff and getting out of downtown. I’ll do a race review this week but I will say now that this year was a HUGE improvement for the half! HUGE!
I’m looking forward to race downtime for a few months. I will likely run on the 4th of July but next half isn’t until August. Time to just go back to running with no plan for a few weeks and just enjoy the scenery. With one eye. So ridiculous. Welcome to my world.
Anyone else run the new half course? Thoughts?
– I loved the downtown finish!